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Christian Tractatus

(Text as at 12/08/2007 10:17:46)


An apparent advantage of the Christian approach (or of the spiritual approach generally) is that it appears to supply a distinction between men and machines. People don't like the idea of being "merely" machines (however sophisticated) and the idea of having some vital element (a soul or spirit) that can never be wired or programmed into a machine may appear comforting.

  1. It is very doubtful, however, whether these animistic ideas have any real content. Consequently, these ideas fall foul of Occam's razor, despite the fact that there is no adequate alternative theory currently available.
  2. It is still unclear whether the behaviourist arguments of the supporters of strong Artificial Intelligence - for granting machines to count as intelligent & sentient beings provided they pass the Turing test - will turn out to be sound. It is also unclear whether Searle's "Chinese Room" arguments are cogent or, if not, whether they can be ameliorated to make them so. Pending a resolution of these debates, the question of "what makes a person" must be left open.




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12/08/2007 10:17:46 479 (Problems - Bible Psychology - Animism) Problems - Bible Psychology



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